A correctional officer works at a prison, jail, or similar institution. They are responsible for maintaining the safety and control of all persons remanded to the custody of the facility. The help ensure and enforce all procedures and regulations as required by the jurisdiction and management.
In addition to helping to maintain order, the correctional officer also assists in performing regularly scheduled inspections of the property belonging to incarcerated persons to seek out contraband and other dangerous or banned items so they may be removed immediately. The officer must be available to help any inmate in need of first aid or similar assistance, as well as to help maintain the upkeep and sanitation of the facility; they are expected to report maintenance and repair needs to the individuals or department responsible for these areas. Much of the correctional officer’s job involves writing up logs and any necessary incident reports in detail. The officer is expected to structure these reports so that senior officers or wardens can make determinations on discipline or housing as required to help maintain control and order of the facility.
Correctional officers normally have at least a high school diploma or equivalent, plus some vocational training in this specialized field or in law enforcement. Additionally, the institution or legal jurisdiction may require ongoing training related to new challenges and responses related to safe maintenance of prisoner custody.
Correctional officers work in a prison environment, which may be stressful for some workers. Because of the need for 24-hour supervision, these officers are usually scheduled for shift work and should expect that weekends and holidays will be part of the work rotation.
Correctional Officer Tasks
- Responsible for transporting or moving prisoners.
- Receive and secure prisoners until their release.
- Maintain security of the jail or institution.
- Supervise prisoners and maintain security, rules, regulations and cleanliness in correctional facility.